Category Archives: on the farm

a new {inspiration} sign

new sign


Not long ago I reconnected with a friend from high school.  Facebook has a way of making that happen.  It just so happens that this friend is incredibly talented and makes THE. BEST. SIGNS.  ever.  Our arrived yesterday and I can’t begin to tell you how much I love it.  Now only do I love the look and feel of it, but I adore what it says.  It really does define how life is lived here on the farm.


If you have a saying that you love and want to display in your own home, visit Janie at her shop- blue eyed girl.



more {life on film}

I want to share some photos that I took recently on film.  I have to say I am totally completely smitten with the results.


It is the only camera I took with me when spending three magical days with four amazing girls in the California sunshine~


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{oh how this city captures my heart and imagination}



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 {this gorgeous girlfriend greeted us with blood orange mimosas upon arrival}


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The images from the gardens make me love our little farm on the hill even more~


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And capturing moments in our home in a way that brings me back to my own childhood~


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{the light leak makes this photo even more dreamy}


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this week {on the farm}

Good morning!

I would like to say that with spring upon us all sorts of things are getting done on the farm.  Oh, you have no idea how much I would like to say that…  However, with how wet it has been (read: frequent torrential downpours) it is difficult to get much done.  And there is a LOT to get done.  The weeds are winning the war, seeds should be in the ground, as should the beginning of the privacy hedge I want to add.  Mabel needs a clean out and air out, benches need painting, not to mention the chicken coop and playhouse.  Thank goodness my dad is coming next month and he pretty much rocks the to-do list.  (can I get a round of applause for daddy?  I’m pretty sure he is SO excited to come out!)

I have gotten a few things done in between cloud bursts- a bit of tidying up, a bit of herb planting, and at least the peas and kale are in the ground.  While out there I have noticed signs that while it may not feel like spring, it is definitely coming.  The rhubarb is nearly ready to be used, the espalier pear tree is completely filled with blooms and the earliest flowers are making an appearance.  We have a gorgeous evergreen clematis that smells divine and fills one of the pasture fences with white this time of year.  The peonies are up and bigger than ever this year, promising some beautiful flowers in the next few months.  As they are one of my very favorite flowers I always get excited to see their red stems coming out of the ground.


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spring, chili and a {sick pup}

Spring seems to be coming to the farm in fits and starts.  One weekend is filled with sunshine, warmth and hours in the gardens, the next, a cold rain keeps us indoors.  I am so ready for spring this year- excited to get the vegetable gardens planted, the lawns cleaned up and the hammock hung.  I am looking forward to hanging laundry on the line and bringing it in at the end of the day smelling of sunshine and fresh air.  I will tell you that I have been enjoying the longer days- waking to the sun rising, watching the sun set after dinner. The one saving grace on these rainy days is that the sun will occasionally make an appearance at the very end of the day- just in time to cast it’s warm rosy orange glow into our windows.  It is such a beautiful way to wrap up a day~

Yesterday was one of those dark wet days that normally cause me to sigh when opening the windows in the morning.  However yesterday it felt appropriate.  M. Louis was admitted to the animal hospital two nights ago with an intestinal obstruction.  He hadn’t been feeling well for the past week and had definitely lost his spunk these past few days.  He took a notable turn two days ago and I felt that worry that a mama feels when her intuition knows something isn’t right.  So yesterday they did surgery on him to remove the blockage, which turned out to be a dog toy that he had swallowed.  Poor little buggy.  He is still at the hospital enjoying his morphine drip and they are keeping a close eye on him.  We are hoping that he may come home tonight and I have a feeling there is going to be a pretty spoiled little French Bulldog in this house.  (and when I say little- I mean LITTLE! he lost a fair bit of weight and he was only 17 lbs to begin with)

So, with the cool weather I decided that chili sounded right.  I didn’t have any peppers but always keep canned tomatoes and tomato paste as well as dry beans on hand, so I simply grabbed some ground beef, onions and garlic as well as some spices and chili it was!  Topped with a dollop of greek yogurt (or sour cream) and you are golden~




2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 lb ground beef (I use low fat content so I don’t have to drain it)

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

I large can of diced tomatoes

1 small can of fire roasted tomatoes

1 really small can of tomato paste

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

3 cups kidney beans


In a soup pot saute onions and olive oil over medium high heat.  When the onions are slightly translucent add ground beef and brown.  When it is nearly brown add garlic, chili powder and red pepper flakes.  Finish browning the beef, stirring occasionally.  Once beef is completely browned add the three cans of tomatoes and mix well, reducing the heat to medium.  Add cocoa powder and cook for about five minutes, stirring to completely incorporate cocoa.  Add beans- I use dry and soak them the night before, then cook them the morning I plan to make chili.  Canned work just fine as well.

Simmer chili for at least an hour on low heat.  Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream.  Also divine with corn bread~



a {little boy’s} room

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We have been in our home for ten years this coming autumn.  In those years we have done a number of things that had to be done, and a few things that we chose to do.  As we spend most of our time on our main floor in our kitchen, living room and dining room that is where we chose to do our biggest renovations.  The other rooms- namely the bedrooms have received little attention to decor, paint or design.  However, recently we moved boys around and it was the impetus to take time to work with the boys and decorate their rooms.

One thing you should know about me is that I don’t do “decorated”.  I prefer to fill the room with things that the boys love- things that inspire them and ignite creativity and learning.  I want them to walk into their room and feel like it is their space and they enjoy spending time there.  With that in mind, we have begun the process of “doing the bedrooms”.  Currently our home is in complete disarray.  Read: total utter chaos.  Rooms have been emptied to paint, furniture can be found in the workspace off the kitchen, in the living room and the hallway.  Plastic covers pieces that can’t be moved and I have felt like it may never end.  Until yesterday.  Yesterday, I was able to put #4’s room- his first room on his own- back together again.  I had such a good time hanging maps and shelves, making his bed and sticking the stars he had begged for on his ceiling.  I waited anxiously for him to arrive after school and was thrilled to see him love it as much as I had hoped when he walked in.  Room number one- SUCCESS.

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Happy Saturday friends!


I took a break from the internet this week, first to celebrate #1 turning 19 (#2 and I traveled to Vancouver to visit him and had a wonderful 24 hours together).  The rest of the week was spent working on indoor projects as it has been really wet out, and then, yesterday we awoke to snow.  This is fine however as we have some exciting things coming and there is a list of things I want to get done in the house before gardening season really kicks off~

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We are working on two painting jobs right now- one in #4’s room and one in the “dorm room”- the lowest floor in the house where #s 2 & 3 are.  I am still contemplating what we will do with the spaces but have all sorts of ideas.  However I want to get the paint up first as we are making some pretty dramatic changes with regards to color and I want to see it first to make sure our ideas will work.

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I have also been working on some little projects- rewiring an existing lamp and making a new table lamp from an old vase.  It was my first foray into creating lighting and I anticipate doing more of it in the future as it is wonderful to think that I can create any look that I want with some wire and a socket!  I am already eyeing a few fixtures I dislike quite a bit…

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Mr. Taylor is away for the next 8 days so in that time I plan to keep busy working on projects and, if the weather report is correct, getting outside in the sunshine.  These lawns are in desperate need of a mowing and I still have spring pruning and weeding to get to.  And the roofs need to be cleaned off as there are the last remaining leaves that are wreaking havoc on the drains!


Have you ever made soda bread?  I want to try this.

I love making ricotta and this recipe for scones looks divine~

This makes me impatient to do our patio extension before summer.

I love an inspiring farm visit!



Have a wonderful weekend~


this week {on the farm}

this week mar 14 2013


Thanks to a wonderful suggestion by my friend Jeanne Oliver, I will be sharing what we are doing on the farm weekly.  I should warn you however that this post will not contain pretty photos.  I want this post to give you an actual glimpse into what life looks like on the farm right now.  And let me tell you, there is very little that is pretty this time of year.  The gardens are full of weeds that I have yet to clean out, due to the endless rain.  There are leaves covering much of the gardens along the drive and I have so much to cut back that still sits where it grew last summer.  Now, however it is brown and dead and needing to be removed. So, the photos below- they are what I see when I walk on the property these days.  But not for long- that I promise you!

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This week on the farm we are cleaning up the gardens and removing all of the remaining leaves and branches that came down through the winter. With bulbs coming up I want to make sure that nothing stops them from sharing their bright spring color with us.  In the pacific northwest we have a  lot of evergreen trees but we also have a number of deciduous trees such as maple, poplar, black locust and cottonwood.  We try to remove as much of the leaves as possible each autumn but inevitably there are leaves that fall and are soaked by the winter rains which need to be cleaned up come springtime.  We use the leaves to cover paths or to add to our compost which will in turn become soil for the gardens.  Even the wine barrels that we fill with color in the summer are in need of a cut back and clean out.

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I am also pruning back the old raspberry canes.  I think that the raspberries are our favorite fruit that we grow.  We use them for everything!  They make wonderful desserts, jams and jellies, they are great on salads with chevre. The boys love to come out to the gardens to simply snack on them.  We started with just a few canes in one row but now have two double rows in the lower garden pasture that we harvest from.  The majority of them are red but we have a number of golden raspberry canes as well that a friend gave to me years ago.  The grape vines which are just behind the raspberries also need to be pruned.  I use them to make wreathes in the winter for the holidays but those that aren’t cut then will need it now.


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There is nothing pretty about chez poulet this time of year.  With the damp winter months everything is soggy.  The door needs paint this summer, as do the windows, but for now we will be cleaning out the coop and filling it with fresh shavings and straw for the nesting boxes.  Usually this time of year we are getting ready to add baby chicks, but as we had quite the massacre last Autumn, I added four chicks then, as we lost most of our layers.  If I had waited until spring I wouldn’t have had many eggs until this coming Autumn and we really love our eggs.  The four new girls should begin laying any time now~

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As far as what we are seeing peek through the ground right now, there are the usual spring blooms- hellebores and daffodils.  The rhubarb is beginning to show itself- and as that is one of my favorite spring things to harvest, I am coaxing it along at every opportunity.  There are buds on the lilacs but no leaves yet.  I am hoping to clean out the garden boxes in the garden pasture as they are a mess.  As soon as they are clean and I have added some of our compost I will be getting the peas and greens planted.  I can’t wait!


{spring cleaning}



This morning I read a post by Melanie from Inward Facing Girl about making lists.  She pointed me in the direction of her friend and uber-inspiration Moorea Seal.  This weeks list is about cleansing- not only of your body but of anything that needs a clean-up.  This of course gets me very excited as I love a good purge!  So, my list for this week~  Thanks ladies!


~ go through our closets and remove anything that is no longer worn.

~ go through our kitchen cabinets and remove anything that I don’t use (even if it’s pretty!)

~ clean out and organize the boys’ school work drawer.  archive what I want to save, recycle the rest.

~ go through our dvd collection and sort out movies I can bring to the children’s home in Uganda.

~ have #4 sort through the lego collection and fill one bin that I can take to the children’s home.

~ clean out my cars!

~ clean out the refrigerator and restock with healthy options.

~ clean up my social media- only follow inspiring folks on twitter, instagram and pinterest.

~ clean out my bathroom cabinets, use up the odds and ends.

~ clean out the garden beds in anticipation for planting this summer’s gardens!

~ wash all of the curtains.

~ clean up my email, catch up on correspondence and delete anything that has no use.


loving {tap & dye}

tap & dye


Heading out of town tomorrow for a weekend of inspiration and laughter with four incredibly dear friends in Napa.  I am so excited to see them, as well as to bring my new/old camera, who happens to shoot film.  I can’t wait to capture the weekend through her lens!  Thankfully my new wrist strap from Tap & Dye arrived. I can’t tell you how much I love it.  I wanted something that looked old school and this little strap fits the bill. It would work with any camera but on my “yet to be named” newest friend, it is perfect.  You can find their facebook page here.


Now I have to find a way to get them to donate one to the Africa auction…  ;)  Happy weekend mes amies!



{the first rolls}

Recently I became friends with an old film camera.  I have to say, from the first click of the shutter I was hooked.  While I should be doing other things on this sunny afternoon, I am instead sharing some of the first shots from her.  The first really grainy shots were from the opening night at Ludlow in Seattle.  (if you haven’t been, you must!)

She hasn’t got a name yet, but she will.  She promises to be a wonderful companion~



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{now living on the farm}

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a little on our {lately}

Hello friends,

It has been crazy around here lately to say the least.  We have had some major changes on the farm which have occupied nearly every second of the day the last few weeks.  While it has been a bit stressful it has mostly been exciting and the beginning of a pretty amazing adventure.

One side effect of these changes is the excitement of planning a few projects that I have wanted to do for some time now.  As these projects have been on my mind for a few years I have collected some photos for my idea board.  First up, the french doors and deck off of our kitchen that I am dying to get put in so that we can enjoy many meals outdoors this spring, summer, and coming autumn.  I feel like I have been searching for the right doors forever and have yet to find them.  One problem may be that I can’t seem to decide on the exact look that I want…  case in point:



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And then there is what goes outside…


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(I think this last outdoor photo, minus the placement of the fireplace is currently winning…)

I also want to do something with the littles’ room, seeing as we have never done anything esthetic to their room.

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And then there are the gardens.  Over the past few years we have talked about what we would like to do with the property- hedges and gardens and running water and trees to add. I want the property to feel more private with lots of green and plants that invite birds to live here.  I want it to feel lush and quiet and peaceful.  I will be posting all sorts of things on that journey in the coming months, but for now, I am sort of loving these:


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For our family, our hearts reside in our home.  We spend a lot of time here together and we plan to be here for a very long time.  Investing our time and energy into this place is something that really gets me excited and motivates me- I hope you will come along for the journey!


{all images found on my pinterest boards.  every single time I tried to link them and save it deleted them.

Valentines {sale}

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Hello friends,


With Valentines being a week away I thought it would be fun to offer a Valentines discount on all the current items in tiggy & grace.  Now, I tend to think that Valentines is a little overrated myself.  However, I am a firm believer in gift giving and in gifting myself.  And what better gift than something made in America?  So head over and take 10% off your entire order, excluding postage.  This offer will expire on Valentines so show yourself and those you care about a little love and gift them something wonderful~



{pottery} preview

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I wanted to give you a preview of what the shop will hold when we stock it early in February.  Today I thought I would post some of the pottery- some of which I am having a tough time parting with!  These bowls are rustic and wonderful and feel so good in your hands.  I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do~


Have a wonderful weekend friends,



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Lately I find myself doing a lot of nesting.  It could have something to do with the fact that it has been frigid cold but so incredibly beautiful, sunshine streaming in the windows while the fire burns in the fireplace.  My heart is settled these days, more so than it has been in such a long time.


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I have enjoyed making granola for the boys, which they love over yogurt.  You can find our favorite recipe here.


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I think that if the weather was like this throughout the winter, I would fall in love with the pacific northwest all over again~



frosty morning {on the farm}



This morning I awoke to the brightness that comes with the morning sun reflecting off of snow on the roof. Around here that means one thing- it is going to be frigid outside.  And sure enough, when I pulled my boots and down jacket on and opened the door to let the dogs out for their morning run, that bitingly cold air immediately hit my cheeks.  I grabbed a touque as I headed out the door and into that gorgeous morning sunshine.




I love my mornings with the dogs- the stillness in the air with only the sound of (today at least) our footfalls crunching through the frozen snow.  It was so clear with only a few wispy clouds high in the sky.  As I looked up I noticed a jet- so high that if not for the contrails I wouldn’t have seen it at all.  I always wonder where it is going, where are the people on board headed.  Are they excited about going on holiday?  Do they look forward to getting home to loved ones?  Even as I write, I can hear planes overhead, flying lower, most likely landing in Seattle.  I love that many of our return flights pass over our home- I always look for familiar landmarks as we come in, excited to return to our little piece of home sweet home.


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The frost on the pasture fences and along the roofline of the hen house and barn formed such beautiful crystals that, after feeding the sheep and barn kitties and melting the water for the hens, I ran back in for my camera.  We don’t often get such gorgeous cold weather here and I wanted to capture it to share.  The barn had little icicles on the metal roof, and the edge of the chicken coop had a longer one that reminded me of my childhood.  It made me happy.




I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, wherever you are.  I am looking forward to staying indoors with the sunshine streaming through the windows, eating comfort food and enjoying time with the boys I love most.





a {year} in photos & a winner

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And- the winner of the one word bracelet give-away is MARY JANE!  Mary Jane, please email me your mailing address at  and I will have it made up for you!

Happy 2013 friends,


capturing the {magic} of this holiday season

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We find ourselves in the midst of my favorite season of the year and yet this year, it is different.  This year I feel so much more present in the season itself, and am really embracing the quiet magic that is Christmas. Instead of getting wrapped up in the hectic shopping and commercial aspects of it this year, we are really focusing on the things that create life-long memories.  We have been exploring our property and the woods near our house and bringing in greenery that we have found to decorate.  The smell of something sweet baking in the oven has become a regular occurrence and we get excited planning what we shall bake next. We talk of goodies we can make for those we love, packaged in boxes and wrapped with twine.  We snuggle more, slow down our busy days in favor of lounging and playing legos.  We read more.


This year we are keeping Christmas simple.  Gifts will be special but there will be less of them.  Our time will be focused on baking, enjoying each other’s company, and eating good meals.  We see the value in making memories and plan to do much of that over the next few weeks.


At times I find that I am in need of inspiration when it comes to looking outside our regular holiday routine.  I don’t have to look far~


This post by my dear friend Mel completely captures my feeling of Christmas magic

I plan to try making egg nog this year

I’m already dreaming of this peppermint bark

Wouldn’t these be a great gift?

And really?  Chai tea shortbread???


In light of recent events I find myself holding my children closer, stopping to just look at them and wanting to treasure every single moment.  I seem to appreciate them in a way I had taken for granted and want to stop time to just take it all in.  My heart has been hurting and I want to do something.  I don’t know what it is specifically but I do know that I want to go forward with more kindness and compassion.  I want to make a change in honor of those innocent souls who were taken too soon.

Random acts of kindness- consider it, in tribute~